Skip to content

Why is Canada doing so well today?

Canada’s economic success is a result of the policy of the former liberal prime minister Paul Martin who introduced fiscally conservative form of socialism in the 1990s and early 2000s, Stephen Marche argues in an article for Bloomberg.

Marche recalls:

“Alone among finance ministers in the Group of Eight nations, Paul Martin “resisted the siren call of deregulation,” in his words, and insisted that the banks tighten their loan-loss and reserve requirements… The stability of Canadian banks and the concomitant stability in the housing market provide the clearest explanation for why Canadians are richer than Americans today.”

Moreover, Marche thinks that Canada now has a successful and balanced politics — neither liberal, nor conservative — that reflects the traditional Canadian obsession with order. He calls the Canadian culture “orderly fairness” and gives as an example the immigration system of the country:

“… of all the world’s societies, Canada’s is one of the most open to immigrants, as anyone who has been to Toronto or Vancouver will have seen. Yet Canada also imposes a mandatory one-year prison sentence on illegal immigrants, and the majority of Canadians favor deportation. Canadians insist that their compassion be orderly, too.”

Andrew Coyne has different opinion. In a commentary for the National Post he dismisses Marche’s arguments explaining that Canada isn’t doing so well, rather U.S. and European economies are doing too bad. He sees three basic causes for the relatively good performance of Canada in the recent years: its housing market did not collapse, the commodity prices grew sharply which helped Canada’s wealth accumulation, which lead to the third cause–soaring Canadian dollar.

None of these three factors, Coyne argues, has something to do with Canadian culture of “orderly fairness” or some exotic policy of “conservative socialism”.

Read more on this and other subjects at